Police gathered early this morning for a blessing of the Greymouth Police Station, which has been the operations centre for the Pike River coal mine recovery efforts for the past two and a half weeks.
At times up to 80 police from throughout New Zealand have been in Greymouth to work on the operation and to support Greymouth staff with policing duties.
Tasman Police District Commander, Superintendent Gary Knowles said the pressure on local police had been significant.
"Many of our people have connections with the mining families. They are suffering along with everyone else in this community and they have coped admirably with the disruption to their daily lives. This is just a part of policing. When a big operation is launched, everyone has to chip in."
West Coast Police Chaplain Derek Cone led this morning's 6am blessing, which wound through every office in the building.
"We do this in homes and businesses, particularly Police businesses because of the stress and strain people are under.
"As humans we can handle a certain amount of strain. The service helps relieve that and keep us healthy," he said.